Nervous? Learn to Slow Down When Presenting.

slow-down-sign-25964193First time presenters are usually nervous about facing the crowd and speaking in front of an audience. The result? They tend to speak a lot faster than what’s normal because they just can’t help feeling nervous about it.

Below are some tips that can help nervous speakers slow down:

Find Your WPM

You have to find out first what your number of words per minute is. Utilize an online calculator like the Speed of Speech tool to find out your average. Take note though that the average increases when you’re actually speaking in front of an audience.

Avoid Memorization

Instead of memorizing, know your piece instead. When you understand what you want to say to your audience then you’ll be able to speak from the heart instead of rushing through the series of words you’ve memorized.

Plan Pauses

By pausing every now and then especially to mark a new section, your delivery will be better and your audience will be more captivated by what you are saying.

Use a Metronome to Rehearse

Use free metronome apps either for Apple or Android to help you keep time as you practice your presentation.


Listen to great speeches. You can find these on Youtube. Exa,ples would be speeches made by Steve JobsMartin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama.

Stretch Vowels

To help keep you focused and on time, stretch your vowels. Enunciate each word well.

Through these tips, you will be able to slow down your nervous pace and you will sound more credible and authoritative.

For more insight on this matter, please head to: How to Slow Down Nervous, Speedy Speech

25 More Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Presentation

Here are some more ways to help you calm your nerves when you’re up there speaking in front of many people or when you’re about to give the biggest presentation of your life.

1. Prepare. Need I say more?

2. Practice. Even the greatest speakers out there practice long hours to perfect their speeches. So should you.

3. Check out the Room. You wouldn’t want any surprises.

4. Read the Room. Arrive early and introduce yourself to some of the people in the audience minutes before you start your presentation. This will make you feel more calm and familiar with your audience.

5. “Seed” the Audience. Ask your friends, associates, or colleagues to attend your talk so you can focus on their faces when the going gets tough up there on stage.

6. Remember the audience is on your side. 90% of the time, the audience is always rooting for you to succeed.

7. Do breathing exercises. I’ll explain this later further in details.

8. Listen to your favorite music or to songs that calm your nerves. For some speakers, the sound of nature is very calming like birds chirping or sound of the ocean.

9. Visualization. Every great person, athlete, performer out there visualizes the kind of outcome they want to experience and  this applies to you too.

10. Body Movement. Shake those hands  and feet and wiggle that body of yours. This will warm you up and and relax your mind and your nerves.

11. Body Movement, Pt. II. You can do some shadow boxing too or some push ups.

12. Do Sit-Ups. The most effective way to utilize this approach prior to speaking is to “crunch” and release the abdominal muscles while standing.

13. Put the Pressure Elsewhere. You do this by making your presentation more interactive.

14. Be Caffeine Free. Also, avoid salty food before presenting. They will just make your mouth dry. Try to eat a light meal as well. Eating heavily before a presentation will just worsen the butterflies in your stomach.

15. Utilize Props. By having a properly placed water bottle and well-timed break can draw attention back to the presenter and “reset” the audience.

16. Work on your Open. The first few minutes of your presentation can make or break you so make sure those first few minutes count.

17. The Restroom. Use it 15 mins before you go on stage to warm up, listen to music and gather your thoughts.

18. Anxiety…Interrupted. It’s five minutes before your big presentation and you’re getting all sweaty and anxious. Think of a random number and count backwards… this will interrupt the mounting anxiety in your system.

19. Anxiety…Distracted. If the counting backwards don’t work, recite the alphabet backwards instead. This is still another exercise in thought process disruption.

20. Remember the reality. Experience of various speakers and presenters show that you are always more nervous than you appear so just try to relax and forget about your nerves.

21. Remember the reality, Pt. II. 99.9% of the time, whatever nightmare you envision for your presentation does not always come true.

22. Breathing Exercise # 1:  Three Deep Belly Breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

23. Breathing Exercise #2: Ujjaiy Breathing – Also known as Oceanic or Victorious Breathing. Just like #22, but here your mouth stays closed.

24. Breathing Exercise #3: Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. Inhale with your right nostril then exhale with your left nostril then vice versa.

25. Use Notes: Memorization + anxiety = poor performance. Use index cards and memorize only the most important points.


For more insights on this matter, please head to: Public Speaking: 25 Tips to Calm Your Nerves